Gelati in London
*Cover photo taken at the Mira Shendel exhibition at Tate Modern
I took a workshop this semester that requires a bit of traveling. The next city that we visited after Amsterdam was London. OK, don’t get me wrong, I’m not a rich kid. I spent about Eur50 on the roundtrip flight and was sleeping at a friend’s place (thanks Cristina!) Also, I did absolutely no shopping during the trip – NULL!
// My experience at Christie’s //
We had a fantastic Auction-House 101 at Christie’s King Street location by an university alumnus who works there now. Art/luxury auction is a very fascinating industry, but probably not for me because I don’t think I will fit in this environment.
Highlights include: Seeing in person Francis Bacon’s triptych “Three Studies of Lucian Freud”, aka most expensive artwork ever. It was displayed in London before it was auctioned off in New York/ Seeing an evening auction live, where many artworks were sold for millions / Getting a really thick catalogue for free from the auction house (it’s no ordinary catalogue, but more like a coffee table book on temporary art, super high quality) / of course – the tour given by the university alumnus, it was very informative!
// Frieze Art Fair London & Frieze Masters //
This was my first time going to Frieze Art Fair London. I also later visited Freize Masters on a different date. It was a very interesting experience with a lot to see. If you want to find out which are the ‘it’ galleries out there, this would be the place to go to. What I didn’t like is that you’d see ‘star’ artists’ works appearing time-and-time again all over the fair. This was especially apparent in Frieze Masters. For instance, I must have seen Alexander Calder‘s work 3-4 times *just* in Frieze Masters in different galleries. I also didn’t like the commercialization of some blue chip galleries, such as Gagosian (they displayed four pieces of uber overrated artwork by Jeff Koons and there were security guards in suit guarding the premise). But I guess art market is a market after all and for many galleries, getting more $$$ is the ultimate goal.
//89+ Marathon @ Serpertine Sackler Gallery //
Due to work (to those of you who don’t know, I work for a contemporary art magazine), I had the privilege to attend the 89plus Marathon, which was held at the super cool Serpertine Sackler Gallery. The gallery is a piece of art itself (designed by the world-famous Zaha Hadid). The two-day event consisted of public talks by guest speakers who are influential thinkers of all generations. 89plus is a long-term, international, multi-platform research project that investigates work by the generation born in or after 1989 (sadly I’m too old to fit into this category). This project are co-curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist, probably the most influential curator in the world, and Simon Castets, an talented independent curator (who’s by the way also very good looking haha).
// Food //
I didn’t try out a lot of food since I was on a low-budget, BUT I do have several things I can recommend. First, I have to recommend this wasabi popcorn from Pret A Manger to you guys! I know this sounds weird but it’s really, really delicious. The wasabi taste is very mild and it’s lightly coated with sugar (ok, doesn’t sound so healthy but TRY IT!) I also highly recommend this organic elder flower soft drink. Again – it might sounds weird but it tastes very good (kind of like ginger ale or 7-up). I also tried a burger topped with chilli vodka salsa and chunky onion rings at Revolution. For sure it was full of calories, but it was totally worth it!
// Nature //
Last but not least, let’s take a look at a few nature shoots that I took at Regent’s Park. I love the changing of colors in autumn; it’s so poetic, don’t you agree?
All in all, I had a great time in London. If you plan to go to London soon, I would recommend you to go to one of the evening auctions organized by Sotheby’s or Christie’s. No admission/booking is necessary and it’s a really cool experience (advice – be there early!) If you can’t go to one, just go see their collections during the day. The collections at these auction houses are comparable to curated exhibitions in big museums. And again – FREE ADMISSION!